Churches, synagogues, mosques and temples and the wider faith community are united by the perennial tradition of welcoming the stranger as neighbor, alleviating suffering, removing fear and humanizing situations of injustice through solidarity and systems change. Faith communities have long exercised their spiritual commitments of hospitality, accompaniment and rapid response as part of the equity and social justice movement of liberation; “no one is free until we all are free.”
With that commitment in mind, the Church Council of Greater Seattle invited all faith communities to come together on May 1 at Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle for a meeting to launch a local expression of the Sanctuary Movement. Participants included congregations who are declaring themselves to be a sanctuary congregation, congregations in discernment, supportive congregations, rapid response hubs and satellites, congregations who confront the targeting of certain groups, congregations committing to accompany and offer solidarity to immigrants and refugees and friends rooted in social justice.
During the meeting several local congregations pledged to serve as places of respite and refuge on a short-term basis in the case of local raids, sweeps or communal fear of harassment or hate violence. SeattlePI.com covered the meeting: http://www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Churches-in-May-Day-pledge-of-respite-and-11112559.php#photo-12828489
To learn more about the local Sanctuary movement, contact Michael Ramos of the Church Council of Greater Seattle via his assistant Ann Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.